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Mary Ellen's Story

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Mary Ellen (Peterson) Hess, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and lasting friend to many, age 96, passed into the arms of her Lord and Savior at Nottingham Village, Northumberland, Jan. 7, 2018. She was a prior resident of Brookdale-Grayson View, Selinsgrove.

She was born Oct. 21, 1921, in Port Norris, Cumberland County, N.J.

A 1938 graduate of A.D. Eisenhower High School, Norristown, Mary Ellen continued her education at Ursinus College, Collegeville Pa., graduating in 1943 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She also attended Temple University School of Medicine.

On Sept. 25, 1945, she married her loving husband, Gilbert T. Hess, who was in the Navy. They moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he was stationed. Subsequent residences included: Skippack, State College, Sunbury, and Middleburg, Pa.

Gilbert passed away in March 2016. They had celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2015. Mary Ellen and Gilbert resided in Middleburg since 1957, moving to Grayson View in 2005.

She is survived by son, David, Racine, Wis.; daughter, Marilyn (Charles) Reed, Middleburg; and grandchildren Jennifer A. Reed, Charles A. (Haydee) Reed, and Richard J. Reed.

While in Fla., Mary Ellen was a junior Bacteriologist for the Fla. State Board of Health. She later worked in the lab at Sunbury Community Hospital, Pa.

While her children were young, her first priority was to be the best homemaker and mother possible. She later returned to the workforce as a tutor at Middleburg Joint High School, attended Bloomsburg State College to obtain her teaching certificate, and subsequently taught Math, Science, and Health. She was then employed by the state of Pennsylvania as an Employee Training Specialist at South Mountain Center, and at the Selinsgrove Center. She retired in 1982.

Mary Ellen was predeceased by her father, Dare T. Peterson and mother, Mary Alice (Chance) Peterson. She was the last surviving sibling from a family of nine children including brothers, Charles C., Raymond, George S., Paul E. Peterson, and Dare T. Peterson Jr.; and sisters, Gladys R. Yeutter, Phoebe E. Riggins, and Doris Mae Tozer.

She is also survived by brothers-in-law, Frank Riggins, George R. Fenstermacher, and George Rodenbach; sisters-in-law, Irene (Carl) Dotterer, May Stocker, Rev. Dr. Elaine Bogert, and Rose Fenstermacher; one cousin, Louis Peterson; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Her hobbies included: cooking, baking, canning, sewing, knitting, needlepoint, crocheting afghans when younger, playing cards and Scrabble. Reading was a favorite pastime, and always included daily Bible devotions.

Mary Ellen and Gilbert enjoyed their cabin in Centre County, summer time at the N.J. shore, retirement winters in Fla., and travel to all 50 states (especially loved Alaska) and Europe.

She was a long time member of the First Baptist Church, Sunbury, and more recently, Amazing Grace Community Church, Northumberland. She was a Committee Member Emeritus of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Snyder and Union Counties, and member of Ursinus College Alumni Association.

A memorial celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In keeping with her wishes, a family graveside interment will be at Schoenersville Cemetery, Allentown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are welcomed to, Child Evangelism Fellowship of Snyder and Union Counties, Inc., P.O. Box 38, Middleburg, PA, 17842; or, Amazing Grace Community Church, P.O. Box 277, Northumberland, PA, 17857.

A special thank you is extended to the Nottingham Village skilled nursing staff, for their compassionate care.

Arrangements are by the Hummel Funeral Home, 574 Hill Street, Middleburg.
Published on January 20, 2018
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